Malawi Queens go down fighting against New Zealand in Taini Jamison Trophy

New Zealand eased past Malawi Queens in their opening fixture of this year’s Taini Jamison Trophy with a 75-42 win at North Shore Events Centre on Wednesday.

Joanna Kachilika tussling for the ball

The lopsided scoreline against the team ranked sixth in the world has set the tone for the Silver Ferns to defend the trophy, while stay on track in their buildup for next month’s Commonwealth Games.

Malawi Queens had a couple of close results in their three-test series against England late last year, so the ease in which the Silver Ferns put them away in this game should be an indicator that the team are heading in the right direction.

The trend for this game was quickly set, with the Silver Ferns scoring the first four points and they were up 18-4 after the first quarter, with Te Paea Selby-Rickit scoring 11 from 13 and Bailey Mes seven from nine.

That highlighted the problem Malawi had: they may have been able to score at a good percentage, but just couldn’t get the ball down to Mwai Kumwenda and Jane Chimaliro enough.

There weren’t any such problems for New Zealand though with wing attack Grace Kara combining well to Selby-Rickit, to help keep the scoreboard ticking over.

Towards the end of the second half Malawi did start to find their groove, with wing attack Bridget Kumwenda able to find goal attack Sindi Simtowe with some consistency.

However, it was another dominant quarter by the Silver Ferns, again scoring 18 goals, to lead 36-17.

In the fourth quarter Michaela Sokolich-Beatson entered the fray to become Silver Fern 169, while Ameliaranne Ekenasio and Claire Kersten also got on.

It was all about getting game time and honing combinations for the rest of the game.

In the earlier game Jamaica sent out a message to the Silver Ferns that they’re a team to fear this week.

In emphatic style, the Sunshine Girls thrashed the Fiji Pearls 83-38 and while the first quarter was tight, with the scores locked up 7-7 at one point, the game steadily got away from Fiji.

Queens’ next match is against Fiji tomorrow before facing Jamaica on Friday.

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